22-year-old sentenced to six years for firebombing Planned Parenthood in Costa Mesa

A split image of two walking masked figures - both wearing hoodies over their head. Person at left is caring an object.
Chance Brannon and Tibet Ergul were recently sentenced for throwing a Molotov cocktail at a Costa Mesa Planned Parenthood in 2022. (U.S Department of Justice)

A 22-year-old man will spend six years in prison for his role in the 2022 firebombing of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Costa Mesa, closing a case that involved two other defendants.

Tibet Ergul pleaded guilty in February to federal charges of conspiracy to damage an energy facility and intentional damage to a reproductive health services facility. He was one of three men arrested in connection with the crime.

Ergul’s co-defendants, Xavier Batten of Brooksville, Fla., and Chance Brannon of San Juan Capistrano, were recently sentenced to three and a half years and nine years, respectively.

Ergul's attorney, Sheila Mojtehedi, said her client "looks forward to closing this chapter and moving on with his life."

Read more: Molotov cocktail used in O.C. Planned Parenthood attack lands Florida man in prison

In a letter to U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, Ergul apologized for his actions and cited mental health issues, along with other struggles. He added that he was “keen to please” his old friend, Brannon, leading him to agree to attack the clinic.

“I had just spent a long period of time alone, feeling as if l did not belong to any causes, nor groups; I believed that if I did not go along with satisfying my friend's wishes and, in a way earn his respect, I would lose another relationship that I had cultivated and end up lonelier than I had been before,” Ergul wrote.

According Ergul's plea agreement, on the morning of March 13, 2022, he and Brannon — disguised in dark clothing, hoods, masks and gloves — ignited a Molotov cocktail and threw it at the clinic’s entrance.

The facility was forced to temporarily close and staff had to reschedule around 30 appointments.

“This defendant’s hatred toward others led him to plotting and carrying out violence,” said U.S. Atty. Martin Estrada. “We will not allow bigoted intolerance to divide us. My office will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute crimes motivated by hate in order to keep our community safe.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, Ergul and Brannon planned to use a second Molotov cocktail to damage another Planned Parenthood clinic, but did not follow through with it after seeing law enforcement near their intended target, Ergul's plea agreement states.

Ergul then conspired with others, including Brannon, to use firearms or a Molotov cocktail to damage a Southern California Edison electrical substation, according to the agreement.

The third man, Batten, pleaded guilty to teaching the others how to assemble the Molotov cocktail used in the attack.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.